Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Five: Pancakes

The very fortunate (you'll see why in a moment) Sophia at RevGalBlogPals writes:

Last week Sally gave us a beautiful, spiritually reflective Friday Five, so it's time for something light and fluffy (literally). It's inspired by the fact that as I write this my dear spouse TechnoGuy, with the assistance of daughter Ladybug, is making a batch of chocolate chip pancakes with two Christmas presents. One is the Knott's Berry Farm mix which came along with jam, boysenberry syrup, and biscuit mix from my aunt (we ended up with two sets, since my parents passed theirs on to avoid sweet and carb-y temptation). The other is the large size Black and Decker electric skillet he was thrilled that I got him online -- our trusty wedding present normal size one still works at going on 20 years, but the Teflon is getting worn, and he wanted more cooking space. So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and tell us all about your pancake preferences.

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
If anyone is nice enough to make me pancakes, I'm not fussy. But my preference would be scratch, buttermilk pancakes, or even better, aebleskiver (the Danish spherical pancakes; the recipe I use contains buttermilk). Buckwheat pancakes are nice once in a while as well.
2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?
Generally I'd just as soon have plain ones with additions on the side. But when I was small my father used to make corn pancakes -- just mixing drained, canned corn into the batter -- and those were really good. And I've had wild rice pancakes that were yummy too.
3. For breakfast or for dinner?
Sure, and why not for lunch?
4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?
Well, of course Maine maple syrup, Grade B, is what I prefer for regular pancakes. For aebleskiver, brown sugar or jam. I like the bacon and sausage we get from our local farm meat market; if I'm elsewhere I would buy Nueske's bacon from Wisconsin or whatever the local goody is.

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
The Danish-American Fellowship aebleskiver breakfasts in Minneapolis! For some reason I usually don't order pancakes in restaurants.
Bonus: Any tasty recipes out there, for pancakes or other special breakfast dishes? Bring 'em on!

The thing about aebleskiver is that you do need a special pan. It looks like this:
There are fancier versions available, but this is the kind I have. A knitting needle or skewer is also needed for turning the pancakes. Here's one of the recipes, from the Danish-American Fellowship Cookbook. It's credited to Hanne Poulsen and says "This is the recipe used for the Aebleskiver Pancake Breakfasts at the Danish-American Fellowship"

4 cups buttermilk
4 cups flour
8 eggs
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Separate all eggs and whip egg whites. Put buttermilk in mixer. Mix all dry ingredients with the flour, then mix all at once into the buttermilk, including the egg yolks. Fold in egg whites and two tablespoons of melted butter. Bake in monks pan (aebleskiver pan) in oil, turn half way to bake and keep turning until fully baked.
This photo is from a Google(tm) Images search that led me to a new-to-me blog I'll probably keep reading, Walking the Berkshires. Thanks!
I should note that the first batch usually doesn't come out all that well for us, but keep going. If you don't want quite so many pancakes, you can halve the recipe easily enough. So, now if you see an aebleskiver pan at a rummage sale, you'll know what to do with it!


Rev Kim said...

Thanks for the recipe! I've wanted to try aebleskiver (sp?) for awhile now, so maybe it's time to invest in a pan. Great play!

BTW, our closest Costco is 120 miles away in the "Big City" - Salt Lake. I'm usually there every 4-6 weeks or so. Unfortunately, the excitement of the Big City and all of the choices means that sometimes we spend a bit more than we planned!

Singing Owl said...

My late M-I-L used to make abelskiever. Now I am wondering whatever happened to the pan? Hmmm...

Nan said...

I'm planning to do a post on the aebleskiver soon! I gave one to my husband for Christmas. I found your blog via your post on the Dorothy L list.

Sophia said...

I have never even heard of aebleskiver--now I'll have to look out for a chance to taste some!

(Not sure how I missed you on Friday, btw--sorry about that).

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just had to say, while standing in the check-out lane at Target during the holidays the woman in front of me was buying an ableskiver pan... from TARGET, mind you! The title on the box said, "Pancake Puffs", but the picture was of a cast-iron pan, just like mine (which was a wedding gift from Rueben, perchased at The Cardinal Shop, I'm sure!) I just had to share! :)